All posts tagged: buffers

Self-determination buffers against death anxiety and enhances well-being

Self-determination buffers against death anxiety and enhances well-being

[ad_1] A series of seven studies published in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology examined the link between existential anxiety and self-determination, exploring how individuals’ autonomy over their lives may mitigate the unsettling knowledge of inevitable death. Awareness of one’s mortality is a profound and universal human experience that can influence psychological well-being. In this work, Kenneth E. Vail III and Dylan E. Horner weaved together self-determination and terror management theory to explore how agency and existential anxiety can influence happiness and life satisfaction. In Study 1, a total of 160 participants viewed song titles that were either neural or related to death, as a means of inducing mortality salience. They completed a word-stem completion task designed to measure death-thought accessibility (DTA). Participants completed word stems like “COFF___” that could be neutrally completed as “COFFEE” or death-related as “COFFIN.” A higher number of death-related completions indicates greater DTA. Additionally, participants’ psychological needs satisfaction across autonomy, competence, and relatedness was assessed using a 21-item measure (e.g., “I feel like I am free to decide for …